Brian Binley MP

6 Jul 2010 14:20:35

Brian Binley MP wants review of smoking ban

Binley-Brian-2 Conservative MP Brian Binley has initiated an Early Day Motion calling for an inquiry into the effectiveness of the last government's smoking ban. The EDM "calls upon the Government to conduct a thorough review, supported by consultation with all parties and affected business sectors on the impact the smoking ban has had on public houses and private members clubs". It continues:

"Any review should consider a balanced and proportionate amendment to the legislation, which allows for segregated smoking rooms or areas within pubs, bars and clubs provided that effective smoke extraction systems of an authorised standard are installed, enabling smokers to be accommodated in comfort indoors without impacting on non smokers and staff whilst reducing intrusive noise to many who live close to such establishments, thus helping to safeguard the future of many in the licensed trade. And that any changes to the smoking ban legislation thereafter should be made on the basis of evidence, fairness, proportionality recognising the importance of such institutions to the nation’s social life and community wellbeing."

Mr Binley says that Labour ministers promised to review the ban three years after it came into force on 1st July 2007. That review does not appear to be forthcoming despite the fact that 2,000 pubs and clubs closed last year - in part, it is alleged, because of the smoking ban.

Mr Binley commented:

“Many pubs and clubs are finding it difficult dealing with the economic situation; the smoking ban has further impacted on many businesses and the trade is really struggling. I want to consider a balanced and proportionate amendment to the legislation, which allows for segregated smoking rooms or areas within pubs, bars and clubs provided that effective smoke extraction systems of an authorised standard are installed.”

Tim Montgomerie

> Related link: Why you should support the campaign to amend the smoking ban by Shane Frith

4 Feb 2009 16:41:52

Brian Binley calls on Gordon Brown to check the growth of local government pensions

Brian_binley_mpAt PMQs today Northampton South MP Brian Binley called on the Prime Minister to check the growth in local government pension arrangements.

This is the exchange:

"A quarter of all council tax is now used to pay for local authority pensions. A former chief executive of Northamptonshire county council left his job 18 months ago at the age of 52 with a lump sum payment of £291,000 and a £97,000 a year index-linked pension, which is costing the county £600,000. Nice work if you can get it! When will the Government have the courage to tackle this national pension outrage?

The Prime Minister: The first thing I should say to the hon. Gentleman is that it is a Conservative council that he is referring to, and the second thing is that most local authority workers do not have that level of pension entitlement. I hope that the Conservative party is not going to make the mistake of identifying one case as representative of what is happening to ordinary local authority workers who, as we found with the emergency services, do a good job when called upon to do so."

Mr Binley comments:

“It used to be the case that those who worked in the public sector were paid less than the private sector because of a number of other advantages, and notably among those a generous pension scheme. But with salaries that now exceed equivalent private sector roles at many levels those pension arrangements need to be reviewed. We cannot have a quarter of Council Tax going on local Government pensions. We cannot have schemes which double in cost to the taxpayer every seven years. It is not sustainable and at a time when those in the private sector face pension cuts it is not fair either.

Changes must start at the top, where the pension arrangements are the most generous. We have had a former Chief Executive of our Council leave that office at a relatively young age with a lump sum payment of £291,000 and a £97,000 a year index linked pension. That is complete nonsense and exemplifies the bloated nature of costs in our public services at present.

I brought this to the attention of the Prime Minister who told me this is not the case in all of the country. I am afraid it shows just how out of touch he is with local government inflation in the country. Since the Government came into power the cost of local pensions to the taxpayer has risen from £1.322billion to £5.009 billion far outstripping annual inflation rates.

Yet again we see a Prime Minister in total denial.”

Tom Greeves

3 Nov 2008 15:59:59

Early Day Motions


Update: Brian Binley's EDM had been tabled very shortly before this post was written, and has since attracted lots of signatures.

Early Day Motions are effectively petitions signed by MPs to draw attention to an issue; although they are motions for debate, few actually end up being debated. They can be serious, they can be lighthearted, they are often cross-party, they can be sometimes be unpleasant.

Herewith some recently tabled EDMs from Conservative MPs. Click on the links provided to see who else has signed them.

David Burrowes tabled EDM 2388:


Burrowes, David

That this House notes the accepted practice of the governments of Israel and the Netherlands of requiring assurances from the US Administration prior to their nationals being deported to face trial in the United States in cases involving defendants suffering from medical or mental health disabilities, that those nationals will be repatriated to serve any sentence imposed by the relevant United States court; and urges the Home Secretary not to permit the extradition to the United States of Mr Gary McKinnon of Palmers Green, London, an Asperger's syndrome sufferer charged with computer misuse in the United States, until such time as she receives express assurances from the US Administration that in the event of his being found guilty and sentenced to a term of imprisonment that administration agrees to the immediate repatriation of Mr McKinnon post trial to serve any such sentence in the United Kingdom."

At the time of writing, no-one else has signed Brian Binley's EDM (number 2391) on corporation tax for small businesses:


Binley, Brian

That this House recognises that small businesses across the United Kingdom provide employment to 13 million workers and are facing difficult financial pressures due to the economic downturn; and asks the Government to reconsider its plans for a further 1 per cent. rise in the small companies rate of corporation tax announced in Budget 2007 to take effect from April 2009."

Continue reading "Early Day Motions" »

26 Oct 2007 01:00:00

Brian Binley opposes use of handheld email devices by MPs in Commons chamber

Binleybrian Brian Binley MP opposes the use of handheld devices in the Commons chamber: "I remember when I was a young lad—I am sure that you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, will have similar memories—going to the cinema and watching western films. Some of the better films, including ones starring Gene Autry and Roy Rogers—I hope that I am bringing nostalgia back for you—showed saloons that stopped people at the swinging doors and asked that they left their guns at the doors. I wish that the Government had taken notice of that particular habit and asked all Members to leave their electrical devices at the door of this Chamber, on the basis that they could cause almost as much trouble as guns in the hands of cowboys in the old west...

I have rarely seen a hand-held device that did not cause disturbance. People forget to turn them off and the things go off inadvertently—we heard of a case of that earlier. Indeed, I have been guilty of the same crime and you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, were kind enough to recognise that I was a new Member and treated me with great gentleness...

I think that [Sir Peter Soulsby, Labour MP] is absolutely wrong in his assertion that the devices do not disturb. Not only do they disturb, but on occasions they stop participation. That is the point. What is this Chamber for? Is it for Members to participate, or is it for them to come here in a rather ad hoc fashion to do their homework, or to answer correspondence?

...As I understand it, we have always received messages, normally in note form. It is important that that should continue. But should we really have the ability to have conversations with others outside when the prime objective of the Chamber is to be the debating centre of the nation? Do we really want television viewers seeing rows of people acting like secretaries in early 1950s films; great rows of MPs all bashing away on laptops? Is that what the Chamber is about? My argument will be that it is not. This is the debating Chamber of the nation and people should come to take part in that process, not be involved in so-called multi-tasking."

More on this page.

Greg Knight MP's response to Brian Binley: "My hon. Friend alluded to the film industry to demonstrate his point; if he were a film mogul, he would probably be the chairman of Nineteenth Century Fox."

Youngsirgeorge Then Sir George Young MP: " I agree with what he said at the beginning of his speech, when he gently disassociated himself from our hon. Friend the Member for Northampton, South (Mr. Binley) on what is called multi-tasking. I think that that is a somewhat misleading title. All that is recommended is that

“the use of handheld devices to keep up to date with e-mails should be permitted in the Chamber provided that it causes no disturbance.”

It seems to me that that simply validates what has been the practice for some time, and I do not find it enormously controversial...

Mr. Binley intervenes: "No; my concern is not that the issue is controversial. My concern is whether my right hon. Friend recognises that hand-held devices go way beyond the simple act of e-mailing, and how he would control their uses so they are not used in a manner that he might not wish to see happen?"

Sir George Young: I understand that, but it is not the proposition that is before the House. The proposition is that we should keep up to date with e-mails, and just e-mails. There is no proposition that we should take photos of each other during a debate or participate in any other mischief that might be done with the devices with which the Whips have very kindly provided us."

Mr Binley's amendment was defeated and Sky's Jon Craig thinks that a very good thing.'s summary of the wider debate on modernisation of Commons rules: "The Commons on Thursday debated proposals raised in recent reports from the modernisation and procedure select committees.  Reforms included allowing open questions during departmental question times and permitting the use of Blackberry and other hand-held electronic devices in the chamber.  The modernisation committee also suggested shorter time limits for frontbenchers in debates and Westminster Hall debates on subjects selected by a ballot of MPs."